Colby College


Dare Northward

A Top-20 liberal arts institution situated in bucolic Waterville, Maine, Colby College has always empowered students to discover, innovate, take risks, and pursue their “true north.”

In 2017, Colby was gearing up for a $750 million campaign—the largest in liberal arts education history. And President Greene planned to break precedent and go public after just one year in the silent phase. Together, 160over90 and Colby took another educated risk in turning outside of the category for brand inspiration.

To honor Colby’s spirit and recognize big-picture institutional values—the arts, wellness, civic engagement, global connections—160over90 crafted a campaign narrative and visual system that don’t resemble a typical college’s, instead channeling consumer challenger brands. The resulting campaign, Dare Northward, nods to the school’s geography, reflects its bold history and upward momentum, and positions Colby at the forefront of conversations about liberal arts education in a rapidly changing global environment.

The campaign was conceived and brought to market in just five months—an unparalleled pace in higher education marketing. In continued non-traditional fashion, Dare Northward debuted in October 2017 as part of a 10-day Homecoming celebration. A second launch followed in December 2017 in New York City, complete with a lighting of the Empire State Building and appearances at the New York Stock Exchange and on Good Morning America.

2018 was both about inviting the larger community into the Dare Northward movement, and focusing specialized attention on Colby’s most significant donors. A cross-country event series featured personal addresses, student performances, video storytelling, and dedicated digital experiences showcasing fundraising progress and impact.

Most recently, in 2019, Colby College and 160over90 shared the stage at the American Marketing Association’s Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, highlighting Colby’s campaign successes and encouraging peers to connect marketing messages to their own core truths.

  • RAISED MORE THAN $500 MILLION

  • 21,000 DONORS

  • AHEAD OF PACE TO MEET (OR EXCEED) $750 MILLION GOAL BY 2023

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